1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Anderson proves himself both an adept miniaturist (sometimes literally; check out those hotel exteriors) and maximalist in this, an epic fake history lesson told as farce and then, finally, as offhand tragedy. The movie’s losses reverberate through its timelines, resulting in an emotional kick that feels like a surprise, even though it shouldn’t; Anderson often chases some of his biggest laughs (of which this movie has many) with a lump in the throat.
In a historic feat of moviemaking, Richard Linklater and his devoted cast fashion a journal of experience out of a decade-plus of chronicles, and ultimately, in its subtly filtered perspectives and ruminations, convey something more than this boy’s life.
An instant paranoia classic, Laura Poitras’s drama of secrets within secrets and of rebellion against government overreach is recognizably linear in the manner of cinema verité yet possessed of a terrific sense of outward expansion and then self-extinguishing tension.